Fox Broadcasting Company

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"FOX" and "Fox Network" redirect here. For "Fox" television channels outside the United States, see Fox (channel). For the film studio that the network was named after, see 20th Century Fox. For other uses, see Fox (disambiguation).
Fox Broadcasting Company
Type Broadcast television network
Country United States
Availability International
Founded October 1985 (1985-10)
by Rupert Murdoch and Barry Diller
Slogan We Are FOX
Headquarters Los Angeles, California
Broadcast area
United States
Owner Fox Entertainment Group
(via Fox Television Group)
(21st Century Fox)
Key people
Dana Walden
Gary Newman (co-chairs/CEO, Entertainment)
Launch date
October 9, 1986 (1986-10-09) (on-air operations)
April 5, 1987 (1987-04-05) (primetime launch)
Picture format
480i (SDTV; formatted to downconverted widescreen in many markets) (October 9, 1986–June 12, 2009)
720p (HDTV) (September 12, 2004–present)
Affiliates By state
By market
Official website
www.fox.com
Notes
[1]

The Fox Broadcasting Company[2] (referred to on-air as Fox or the Fox Network off-air, and stylized as FOX),[3][4] is an American commercial broadcast television network that is owned by the Fox Entertainment Group division of 21st Century Fox. It is the third largest major television network in the world, based on total revenues, assets and international coverage.

Launched on October 9, 1986 as a competitor to the three longer-established U.S. television networks, ABC, NBC and CBS, Fox went on to become the most successful venture at a fourth television network; it was the highest-rated broadcast network in the 18–49 demographic from 2004 to 2012 and earned the position as the most-watched network in the United States overall in total viewership during the 2007–08 season.[5][6]

Fox and its affiliated companies operate many entertainment channels in international markets, although these do not necessarily air the same programming as the U.S. network. Most viewers in Canada have access to at least one U.S.-based Fox affiliate, either over-the-air or through a pay television provider; although most of Fox's primetime programming, as well as the NFL on Fox telecasts, is subject to simultaneous substitution regulations for cable and satellite providers imposed by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission to protect rights held by domestically based networks.

The network is named after sister company 20th Century Fox, and indirectly for producer William Fox, who founded one of the movie studio's predecessors, Fox Film. Fox is a member of the North American Broadcasters Association and the National Association of Broadcasters.

History[edit]

Origins[edit]

20th Century Fox had been involved in television production as early as the 1950s, producing several syndicated programs during this era. In November 1956, the studio purchased a 50% interest in the NTA Film Network, an early syndicator of films and television programs.[7] Following the demise of the DuMont Television Network in August of that year, NTA was launched as a new "fourth network".[8] 20th Century Fox would also produce original content for the NTA network.[7] The film network effort would fail after a few years, but 20th Century Fox continued to dabble in television through its production arm, TCF Television Productions, producing series such as Perry Mason for the three major broadcast television networks (ABC, NBC and CBS).

1980s: Establishment of the network[edit]

Foundations[edit]

The Fox network's foundations were laid in March 1985 through News Corporation's $250 million purchase of a 50% interest in TCF Holdings, the parent company of the 20th Century Fox movie studio. In May 1985, News Corporation, a media company owned by Australian newspaper magnate Rupert Murdoch that had mainly served as a newspaper publisher at the time of the TCF Holdings deal, agreed to pay $2.55 billion to acquire independent television stations in six major U.S. cities from the John Kluge-run broadcasting company Metromedia: WNEW-TV in New York City, WTTG in Washington, D.C., KTTV in Los Angeles, KRIV-TV in Houston, WFLD-TV in Chicago, and KRLD-TV in Dallas. A seventh station, ABC affiliate WCVB-TV in Boston, was part of the original transaction but was spun off to the Hearst Broadcasting subsidiary of the Hearst Corporation in a separate, concurrent deal as part of a right of first refusal related to that station's 1982 sale to Metromedia[9][10][11] (two years later, News Corporation acquired WXNE-TV in that market from the Christian Broadcasting Network and changed its call letters to WFXT).

Beginning of the network[edit]

In October 1985, 20th Century Fox announced its intentions to form a fourth television network that would compete with ABC, CBS and NBC. The plans were to use the combination of the Fox studios and the former Metromedia stations to both produce and distribute programming. Organizational plans for the network were held off until the Metromedia acquisitions cleared regulatory hurdles. Then, in December 1985, Rupert Murdoch agreed to pay $325 million to acquire the remaining equity in TCF Holdings from his original partner, Marvin Davis. The purchase of the Metromedia stations was approved by the Federal Communications Commission in March 1986; the call letters of the New York City and Dallas outlets were subsequently changed respectively to WNYW and KDAF.[12] These first six stations, then broadcasting to 22% of the nation's households, became known as the Fox Television Stations group. Except for KDAF (which was sold to Renaissance Broadcasting in 1995 and became a WB affiliate at the same time), all of the original owned-and-operated stations ("O&Os") are still part of the Fox network today. Like the core O&O group, Fox's affiliate body initially consisted of independent stations (a few of which had maintained affiliations with ABC, NBC, CBS and/or DuMont earlier in their existences); the local charter affiliate was, in most cases, that market's top-rated independent; however, Fox opted to affiliate with a second-tier independent in markets where a more established independent station declined the affiliation (such as Denver, Phoenix and St. Louis).

Fox launched on the evening of October 9, 1986. Its first program was a late-night talk show, The Late Show, which was hosted by legendary comedienne Joan Rivers. After a strong start, The Late Show quickly eroded in the ratings; it was never able to overtake NBC stalwart The Tonight Show – whose then-host Johnny Carson, upset over her becoming his late-night competitor, banned Rivers (a frequent Tonight guest and substitute host) from appearing on his show (Rivers would not appear on Tonight again until February 2014, when Jimmy Fallon became its host months before her death). By early 1987, Rivers (and her then-husband and the show's original executive producer, Edgar Rosenberg) quit The Late Show after disagreements with the network over the show's creative direction and the program began to be hosted by a succession of guest hosts. After that point, some stations that affiliated with the network in the weeks before the April 1987 primetime launch (such as WCGV-TV in Milwaukee) signed affiliation agreements with Fox on the condition that they would not have to carry The Late Show due to the program's ratings weakness.

The network expanded its programming into primetime on April 5, 1987, inaugurating its Sunday night lineup with the premieres of the sitcom Married... with Children and the sketch comedy series The Tracey Ullman Show. Fox added one new show per week over the next several weeks, with the drama 21 Jump Street, and comedies Mr. President and Duet completing its Sunday schedule.[13] On July 11, the network rolled out its Saturday night schedule with the two-hour movie premiere of Werewolf; over the next three weeks, the series The New Adventures of Beans Baxter, Karen's Song and Down and Out in Beverly Hills (the latter being an adaptation of the film of the same name) were added to the Saturday lineup. Both Karen's Song and Down and Out in Beverly Hills were canceled by the start of the 1987–88 television season, the network's first fall launch, and were replaced by Second Chance and Women in Prison.

In regards to its late night lineup, the network had already decided to cancel The Late Show, and had a replacement series in development called The Wilton North Report, when the former series began a ratings resurgence with its final guest host, comedian Arsenio Hall. Wilton North lasted just a few weeks, however, and the network was unable to reach a deal with Hall to return as host when it hurriedly revived The Late Show in early 1988. The show went back to guest hosts again, eventually selecting Ross Shafer as its permanent host, only for it to be canceled for good by October 1988, while Hall signed a deal with Paramount Television to develop his own syndicated late night talk show, The Arsenio Hall Show. Although it had modest successes in Married... with Children and The Tracy Ullman Show, several affiliates were disappointed with Fox's largely underperforming programming during the network's first three years; KMSP-TV in Minneapolis-St. Paul and KPTV in Portland, Oregon disaffiliated from Fox in 1988 (with KITN (now WFTC) and KPDX respectively replacing them as Fox affiliates), citing that the network's weaker program offerings were hampering viewership of their stronger syndicated slates.

The network added a third night of programming, on Mondays, at the start of the 1989-90 television season. That season also saw the debut of a midseason replacement series, The Simpsons (an animated series that originated as a series of shorts on The Tracey Ullman Show); ranked at a three-way tie for 29th place in the Nielsen ratings, it became a breakout hit and was the first Fox series to break the Top 30. That year, Fox also first introduced its Saturday night combination of Cops and America's Most Wanted, which would be staples on the network for just over two decades.

1990s: Rise into mainstream success and beginnings of rivalry with the Big Three[edit]

Fox survived where DuMont and other attempts to start a fourth network failed because it programmed just under the number of hours to be legally considered a network by the FCC. This allowed Fox to make money in ways forbidden to the established networks (for instance, it did not have to adhere to the fin-syn rules in effect at the time), since during its first years it was considered to be merely a large group of stations. By comparison, DuMont was hampered by numerous regulatory roadblocks, most notably a ban on acquiring more stations – during an era when the FCC had much tighter ownership limits for television stations than it did when Fox launched – since its minority owner, Paramount Pictures owned two television stations. Combined with DuMont's three television stations, this put DuMont at the legal limit at the time. Also, Murdoch was more than willing to open his wallet to get and keep programming and talent. DuMont, in contrast, operated on a shoestring budget and was unable to keep the programs and stars it had.[14] Most of the other startup networks that launched in later years (such as The WB, UPN and The CW) followed this model as well. Clarke Ingram, who maintains a memorial website to the failed DuMont Television Network, has suggested that Fox is a revival or at least a linear descendant of DuMont, since Metromedia was spun off from DuMont and Metromedia's television stations formed the nucleus of the Fox network.[15] WNYW (originally known as WABD) and WTTG were two of the three original owned-and-operated stations of the DuMont network.

Although Fox was growing rapidly as a network and had established itself as a presence, it was still not considered a major competitor to the established "Big Three" broadcast networks, ABC, CBS and NBC. From its launch, Fox had the advantage of offering programs intended to appeal toward a younger demographic – adults between 18 and 49 years of age – and were edgier in content, whereas programs that were carried by the "Big Three" networks attracted an older-skewing audience. Until the early 1990s, when Fox expanded its programming to additional nights and outside of primetime, most Fox stations were still essentially formatted as independent stations – filling their schedules with mainly first-run and acquired programming, and during primetime, running either syndicated programs or more commonly, movies on nights when the network did not provide programming.

As Fox gradually headed towards carrying a full week's worth of programming in primetime – through the addition of programming on Thursday and Friday nights at the start of the 1990-91 season – the network's added offerings included the scheduling of The Simpsons opposite veteran NBC sitcom The Cosby Show as part of Fox's initial Thursday night lineup that fall (along with future hit Beverly Hills, 90210) after only a half-season of success on Sunday nights. The show performed well in its new Thursday slot, spending four seasons there and helping to launch Martin, another Fox comedy that became a hit when it debuted in September 1992. The Simpsons returned to Sunday nights in the fall of 1994, and has remained there ever since. The early and mid-1990s saw the debuts of several soap opera-style primetime dramas aimed at younger audiences that became quick hits, which in addition to Beverly Hills, 90210, included its spin-off Melrose Place and Party of Five. That part of the decade also saw the network launch several series aimed at a black audience, which, in addition to Martin, included Living Single and New York Undercover.[citation needed]

Luring the NFL and affiliation switches[edit]

Fox would become a viable competitor to the "Big Three" when the network lured the partial broadcast television rights to the National Football League away from CBS. On December 18, 1993, Fox signed a contract with the NFL to televise regular season and playoff games from the National Football Conference, starting with the 1994 season; the initial four-year contract, which Fox bid $1.58 billion to obtain, also included the exclusive U.S. television rights to Super Bowl XXXI in 1997.[16] The network also lured Pat Summerall, John Madden, Dick Stockton, Matt Millen, James Brown and Terry Bradshaw (as well as many behind-the-scenes production personnel) from CBS Sports to staff its NFL coverage. Shortly afterward, News Corporation began striking affiliation deals with, and later purchased, more television station groups.

On May 23, 1994, Fox agreed to purchase a 20% stake in New World Communications, a television and film production company controlled by investor Ronald Perelman that had just recently entered into broadcasting through its 1993 purchase of seven stations owned by SCI Television. As a result of Fox acquiring interest in the company, New World signed an agreement to switch twelve stations (eight CBS affiliates, three ABC affiliates – two of which were subsequently sold directly to Fox due to conflicts with FCC ownership rules – and one NBC affiliate) that it had either already owned outright or was in the process of acquiring from Citicasters and Argyle Communications at the time to Fox starting in September 1994.[17][18] The NFC contract, in fact, was the impetus for the affiliation deal with New World.[17]

That summer, SF Broadcasting, a joint venture between Fox and Savoy Pictures that was founded in March 1994, purchased four stations from Burnham Broadcasting (three NBC affiliates and one ABC affiliate); through a separate agreement, those stations would also switch to Fox between September 1995 and January 1996. These deals were not the first instances in which a longtime "Big Three" station affiliated with Fox; the network moved its Miami affiliation from charter affiliate WCIX (which became a CBS owned-and-operated station, now WFOR-TV) to NBC affiliate WSVN in January 1989, the result of a three-station affiliation swap spurred by NBC's purchase of longtime CBS affiliate WTVJ.

The major impetus for the New World and Burnham deals was to improve local coverage of Fox's NFL package by aligning the network with stations that had more established histories and advertiser value than its charter affiliates, and spurred a series of affiliation realignments between all four U.S. television networks involving individual stations and various broadcasting groups – such as those between CBS and Group W (whose corporate parent later bought the network), and ABC and the E. W. Scripps Company (which owned several Fox affiliates that switched to either ABC or NBC as a result of the New World deal) – affecting 30 television markets between September 1994 and September 1996. The two deals also had the side benefit of increasing local news programming on the new Fox affiliates (as well as expanding the number of news-producing stations in Fox's portfolio beyond mainly charter stations in certain large and mid-sized markets).

With significant market share for the first time ever (in which Fox became the largest television stations owener in the U.S.) and the rights to the NFL (which included the network's debut Super Bowl live games telecast starting 1997, Fox firmly established itself as the nation's fourth major network. Additionally, Fox Television Stations acquired New World outright on July 17, 1996, making the latter's twelve Fox affiliates owned-and-operated stations of the network;[19] the deal was completed on January 22, 1997. Later, in August 2000, Fox bought several stations owned by Chris-Craft Industries and its subsidiaries BHC Communications and United Television for $5.5 billion (most of these stations were UPN affiliates, although its Minneapolis station KMSP-TV would rejoin Fox in September 2002 as an owned-and-operated station).[20]

Evolving programming[edit]

Fox completed its primetime expansion to all seven nights on January 19, 1993, with the launch of two additional nights of programming on Tuesdays and Wednesdays (the method of gradually adding nights to the programming schedule that began with the network's April 1987 primetime launch was replicated by The WB and UPN when those networks debuted in January 1995). September 1993 saw the heavy promotion and debut of a short-lived western series that incorporated science-fiction elements, The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr. However, it was the Friday night show that debuted immediately following it, The X-Files, that would find long-lasting success, and would become Fox's first series to crack Nielsen's year-end Top 20 most-watched network programs.

The sketch comedy series In Living Color, which debuted in April 1990, created many memorable characters and launched the careers of future movie stars Jim Carrey, Jamie Foxx, Damon Wayans, Keenen Ivory Wayans, and "Fly Girl" dancer Jennifer Lopez. It also gained international prominence after Fox aired a special live episode of the series in 1992 as an alternative to the halftime show during the Super Bowl XXVI broadcast on CBS, marking the start of Fox's rivalry with the "Big Three" networks while popularizing the counterprogramming strategy against the Super Bowl telecast.In September 1995, Fox debuted the sketch comedy series MADtv, which became a solid competitor to NBC's Saturday Night Live for over a decade and was the network's most successful late night program as well as one of its most successful Saturday night shows, running for 14 seasons until its cancellation in 2009.

An attempt to make a larger effort to program Saturday nights by moving Married... with Children and adding a new but short-lived sitcom (Love and Marriage) to the night at the beginning of the 1996–97 season backfired with the public, as it resulted in a brief cancellation of America's Most Wanted that was criticized by law enforcement and public officials, and was roundly rejected by viewers, which brought swift cancellation to the newer series. Married... – which became the network's longest-running live-action sitcom, airing for 11 seasons – quickly returned to its previous Sunday timeslot (before moving again to Mondays two months later); both it and Martin would end their runs at the end of the 1996–97 season. Two months later, a revised Saturday schedule featuring one new and one encore episode of COPS, and the revived America's Most Wanted: America Fights Back was launched. Cops and AMW remained the anchors of Fox's Saturday lineup for many years, making it the most stable night in American broadcast television for over 14 years; both shows eventually became among the seldom few first-run programs on Saturday evenings across the four major networks after decreasing primetime viewership – as more people opted to engage in leisure activities away from home rather than watch television on that night of the week – led ABC, NBC and CBS to largely abandon first-run series on Saturdays (other than newsmagazines, sports and burned off primetime shows that failed on other nights) in favor of reruns and movies by the mid-2000s. America's Most Wanted ended its 23-year run on Fox in June 2011, and was subsequently picked up by Lifetime (before being cancelled for good in 2013);[21] Cops, in turn, would move to Spike in 2013, leaving sports and repeats of reality and drama series as the only programs airing on Fox on Saturday evenings.[22]

By the 1997–98 season, Fox had three shows in the Nielsen Top 20, The X-Files (which ranked 11th), King of the Hill (which ranked 15th) and The Simpsons (which ranked 18th). Building around its flagship animated comedy The Simpsons, Fox would experience relative success with animated series in primetime, beginning with the debut of the Mike Judge-produced King of the Hill in 1997. Family Guy (the first of three adult-oriented animated series from Seth McFarlane to air on the network) and Futurama (from Simpsons creator Matt Groening) would make their debuts in 1999, however they were respectively canceled in 2002 and 2003. Due to strong DVD sales and highly rated cable reruns on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim, Fox later decided to order new episodes of Family Guy, which began airing in 2005. Futurama would be revived with four direct-to-DVD films between 2007 and 2009 and would return as a first-run series on Comedy Central, where it ran from 2010 to 2013. Less successful efforts included The Critic, starring Saturday Night Live alumnus Jon Lovitz (which Fox picked up after it was cancelled by ABC, only for the series to be cancelled again after its second season), and The PJs (which later moved to The WB, after Fox cancelled that series after its second season). Other notable shows that debuted in the late 1990s included the quirky live-action dramedy Ally McBeal and period sitcom That '70s Show, the latter of which became Fox's second-longest-running live-action sitcom, airing for eight seasons.

Throughout the 1990s and into the next decade, Fox launched a slate of cable channels beginning with the 1994 debuts of general entertainment network FX and movie channel FXM: Movies from Fox (now FX Movie Channel), followed by the debut of Fox News Channel in 1996. Its sports operations expanded with the acquisition of a controlling interest in several regional sports networks during the mid-1990s to form Fox Sports Net, its 2000 purchase of Speed Channel (which was replaced by Fox Sports 1 in August 2013), and the launches of Fox Sports World (later Fox Soccer, which was replaced by FXX in September 2013) and Fox Sports en Espanol (now Fox Deportes) in the early 2000s.

2000s: Rise to leadership in nationwide 18-49 demographics and overall viewership ratings, breakthrough with American Idol and House, and fierce rivalry with CBS[edit]

By 2000, many staple Fox shows of the 1990s had ended their runs. During the late 1990s and carrying over into the early 2000s, Fox put much of its efforts into producing reality fare – many of which were considered to be sensationalistic and controversial in nature – such as Who Wants to Marry a Multi-Millionaire?, Temptation Island, Married by America and Joe Millionaire, as well as video clip shows such as World's Wildest Police Videos and When Animals Attack!. After shedding most of these programs, Fox gradually filled its lineup with acclaimed dramas such as 24, The O.C., House and Bones, and comedies such as The Bernie Mac Show, Malcolm in the Middle and Arrested Development.

In 2000, Fox acquired the broadcast rights to NASCAR, as part of a deal that also involved NBC, and TNT. As the decade wore on, Fox began surpassing ABC and NBC in the ratings – first in the primetime blocks, then in overall viewership - and placed second behind resurgent CBS in total viewership beginning in 2002. Fox hit a major milestone in 2005 when it emerged as the most watched network in the lucrative 18-49 demographic in the U.S. for the first time, largely boosted by the strength of the reality singing competition series American Idol, considered to be the biggest hit program of the 2000s on U.S. television, as well as Fox's first ever program to enter the Nielsen Top 10. Idol had peak audiences of up to 38 million viewers during the 2002–2003 season finale and averages of almost 31 million viewers from 2006 to 2007. Subsequently, Idol leapfrogged to be the highest-rated U.S. television program overall starting with the 2003–2004 season, and was the first reality singing competition series in the country ever to reach the top spot in overall viewership. House, which aired after Idol on Tuesday nights and had a successful run of summer repeats in 2005, positioned itself as Fox's first primetime drama series (and the network's second overall program) to reach the Nielsen Top 10 in 2006.

Since 2004, CBS and Fox, which were the two most-watched broadcast networks in the U.S. during the 2000s, have tended to equal one another in demographic ratings among general viewership, with both networks winning certain demographics by narrow margins; however, while Fox has the youngest-skewing television audiences, CBS is consistently regarded to have the oldest television audience demographics among the major U.S. broadcast networks. However, Fox hit a milestone in February 2005 by scoring its first-ever sweeps victory in total viewership and demographic ratings. This was largely due to the broadcast of Super Bowl XXXIX, but also due to the strength of American Idol, 24, House and The O.C. By the end of the 2004–05 season, Fox ranked in first place among all broadcast networks for the first time in its history among the 18–49 adult demographic. Another milestone came by the conclusion of the 2007-2008 season on May 21, 2008, shortly after the widely acclaimed seventh season finale of American Idol, when Fox became the highest-rated television network in the United States for the first time, attributed to the strengths of Super Bowl XLII, Idol and House for the said television season, and also dominated the country's 18-49 demographic tallies (for the fourth consecutive time) with the largest margin ever since Nielsen's introduction of people meter technology for television audience measurement during the 1985-1986 season, and eventually became the only non-Big Three network to earn first place overall since then.[5]

Near the end of the 2000s, Fox launched a few series that proved to be powerful hits in different respects. In 2008, the supernatural mystery series Fringe debuted to high ratings and critical acclaim during its first season on Tuesdays; though its viewership declined through its run, the series developed a large loyal fanbase that had turned the show into a cult favorite. In 2009, Glee premiered to average ratings, but earned positive reviews from critics. The dramedy's ratings increased during the first season, and was met with such media attention that it had formed a large, loyal international fanbase. The cast of the series has been acknowledged by notable people such as the President of the United States Barack Obama and Oprah Winfrey, who have each asked the cast to perform live for various national events.

2010s: Network's ratings collapse and renewal, and revamp in network programming[edit]

At the close of the decade and the start of the 2010s, new comedies Raising Hope and New Girl gave Fox its first successes in live-action comedy in years. The second season of Glee delivered that series' highest ratings during the 2010-11 season, with viewership peaking during its Super Bowl lead-out episode in February 2011. At the same time, Fox's live telecast of the Super Bowl XLV helped the network emerge as the first U.S. television network to earn an average single-night primetime audience of at least 100 million viewers.[23]

American Idol lost its first place standing among all network primetime programs during the 2011-2012 finale (falling to second that season behind NBC Sunday Night Football), ending the longest streak at No.1 for a primetime broadcast network series in U.S. television history, through its eight-year ratings domination in both the Adults 18-49 demographic and total nationwide viewership. Idol also remained in the Nielsen Top 10 for eleven years from 2003 to 2013, and became the highest-rated non-sports as well as reality-genre primetime television show in the U.S. from 2003 to 2012, triple records of which form the longest positions held by any Fox program according to Nielsen tallies. The 2012 season finale of American Idol additionally helped Fox win its eighth consecutive season (since 2004) of victory in the 18-49 demographic ratings on U.S. television, the longest such streak in the country's television history.

During the 2012–13 season, Fox suffered a collapse in viewership; American Idol and Glee suffered steep ratings declines, while the network as a whole both suffered a 22% decrease in viewership and fell to (and currently stays in) second place among the 18-49 demographic, and fell to third place in total viewership by the end of the season. The ratings decline had continued in the 2013-2014 season, with Fox placing fourth among the major networks for the first time since 2001. Subsequently, on January 13, 2014, Fox announced it would abandon its use of the standard concept of greenlighting shows through the initial order of pilot episodes during the designated "pilot season" (running from January through April), instead, opting to pick up shows straight to series.[24]

Fox scored renewed ratings successes with its broadcast of Super Bowl XLVIII in February 2014, and the lead-out programs that followed the event – New Girl and Brooklyn Nine-Nine. Fox's broadcast of Super Bowl XLVIII became the most watched U.S. television program to date, peaking up to 167 million viewers nationwide during several portions of the broadcast. Later in May 2014, Kevin Reilly announced his resignation as chairman of Fox Entertainment.[25] In July of the same year, parent company 21st Century Fox announced that the operations of the network and 20th Century Fox Television would be merged into the newly created Fox Television Group, with 20th Century Fox Television co-chairpersons Dana Walden and Gary Newman appointed to head the division.[26]

Programming[edit]

Fox currently provides 19 hours of entertainment and news programming each week. It provides fifteen hours of primetime programming to the network's owned-and-operated and affiliated stations, airing Monday through Saturdays from 8:00 to 10:00 p.m. and Sundays from 7:00 to 10:00 p.m. (all times Eastern and Pacific). An hour of late night animated programming is also offered on Saturdays from 11:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m. Eastern and Pacific Time, branded under the Animation Domination High-Def banner (though scheduling for that hour varies depending on the market due to late local newscasts airing in the traditional 11:00/10:00 p.m. timeslot on some Fox stations). Weekend daytime programming consists of the paid programming block Weekend Marketplace (airing Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., although the block is not carried by all affiliates and in some areas, is offered to another station in the market), and the hour-long Sunday morning political news program – and the network's only regular national news program – Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace (airing from 9:00 to 10:00 a.m. Eastern and Pacific, although the timeslot also varies by market due to local news or public affairs programming).

Sports programming is also provided, usually on weekends (albeit not every weekend year-round), and most commonly airing between 12:00 and 4:00 or as late as 8:00 p.m. on Sundays (often airing for longer hours during football season, slightly less during NASCAR season), 3:00 and 7:00 p.m. on Saturday afternoons (during baseball and college football season) and during primetime on certain Saturday evenings, with the primetime block on Saturdays – if any sports programming is scheduled for a particular week on that night – currently varying between occasional UFC events, Major League Baseball or NASCAR coverage in the late winter and early spring/summer, and college football coverage during the fall. Most of the network's primetime programming is produced by a production company owned by Fox's corporate parent 21st Century Fox, usually 20th Century Fox Television or Fox Television Studios.

Adult animation[edit]

Main article: Animation Domination

Typically every Sunday night during primetime (unless preempted, usually by sports telecasts), Fox airs a lineup of original adult animation series. This block of adult cartoons – which was branded by Fox as Animation Domination from May 1, 2005 to September 14, 2014, when it was rebranded as "Sunday Funday" due to the re-incorporation of live-action series onto the Sunday lineup – has become a staple of the network.

The first programs to air as part of the Animation Domination lineup were American Dad! (which also had its beginnings in the lineup, and moved to TBS in October 2014[27][28][29]), Family Guy (which returned to the network after a four-year cancellation when Animation Domination began), The Simpsons (the longest-running cartoon on Fox, predating the lineup by 16 years) and King of the Hill (which also predated the lineup, but by eight years). Animated shows currently airing as part of the lineup include Family Guy, The Simpsons and Bob's Burgers. In addition to King of the Hill, series that have previously aired on the lineup have included Sit Down, Shut Up; Allen Gregory; Napoleon Dynamite and The Cleveland Show.

An extension of the Sunday primetime block called "Animation Domination High-Def" launched on Saturday late nights in July 2013 (marking the return of first-run programming in that time period since the 2010 cancellation of The Wanda Sykes Show), with ADHD Shorts, Axe Cop and High School USA!. Due to low ratings, Fox announced on April 17, 2014 that it would discontinue Animation Domination High-Def; although "Animation Domination High-Def" was slated to end on June 28, 2014,[30][31] Fox continues to air the block as of December 2014 without new programming.

Children's programming[edit]

Fox began airing children's programming in September 1990 when it debuted Fox Kids (originally known as the Fox Children's Network and the Fox Kids Network before being amended to its final name), a programming block that aired on Saturday mornings and Weekday afternoons. Programming within this block consisted mainly of animated series, although some live-action series were also featured within the block. Shows featured in the block included Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, Bobby's World, X-Men, Spider Man, The Tick and Goosebumps; Fox Kids also select series from Warner Bros. Animation including the popular animated series Tiny Toon Adventures, Animaniacs and Batman: The Animated Series (Batman and Animaniacs were pulled from the Fox Kids lineup in September 1995 by Warner Bros., which moved both shows, as well as Tiny Toons – which had already ended its run – to the newly launched Kids' WB block on The WB).

In 2001, Fox sold its children's division and cable network Fox Family Channel (now ABC Family) to The Walt Disney Company. The network relegated the Fox Kids block to Saturdays the following year (turning over the two-hour timeslot held by the weekday block over to its owned-and-operated and affiliated stations, rather than retaining the slots and filling them with adult-oriented daytime shows[32]); then in September 2002, as part of a time-lease agreement with 4Kids Entertainment to program the remaining four-hour Saturday morning lineup, Fox Kids was replaced by a new children's program block called FoxBox (which was renamed 4Kids TV the following year).

Fox discontinued the 4Kids TV block on December 27, 2008, due to a payment and distribution dispute between the network and 4Kids Entertainment, which was later settled.[33] Fox then chose to turn over two of the four vacant Saturday morning hours back to its affiliates on January 3, 2009, to allow them to run Saturday morning newscasts or affiliate-purchased E/I programming (the latter of which Fox stations now purchase from the syndication market, as the network decided to stop supplying children's programming on its own), while it retained the remaining two hours to run a network-managed paid programming block named Weekend Marketplace.[34]

On September 14, 2014, Fox stations owned by Fox Television Stations, Tribune Broadcasting and several other Fox affiliate groups began airing Xploration Station, a two-hour E/I-compliant syndicated block produced by Steve Rotfeld Productions, which features programs focused on the STEM fields.[35] Stations can choose to either carry Xploration Station or continue to air Weekend Marketplace (as Sinclair Broadcast Group chose to do, since it already carries E/I programming purchased by the company from the syndication market across its Fox affiliates).

News[edit]

Unlike ABC, CBS and NBC, Fox does not currently air national news programs (morning or evening) – choosing to focus solely on its primetime schedule, sports and other ancillary network programming. The absence of a national news program on the Fox network is despite the fact that its parent company, 21st Century Fox, owns Fox News Channel, which launched in August 1996 and is currently available on virtually all U.S. pay television providers. However, Fox News does produce some content that is carried by the broadcast network, which is usually separate from the news coverage aired by the cable channel; in particular, FNC anchor Shepard Smith anchors most primetime news presentations on the Fox network, especially during political news events (which are anchored by Bret Baier on Fox News Channel).

Specifically, the Fox network airs coverage of the State of the Union address, presidential debates, national election coverage, as well as periodic live breaking news bulletins branded as "Fox News Alerts" (or sometimes "Fox News Red Alerts"); carriage of such special coverage may vary from station to station, and is often limited to events that occur during the network's usual primetime block (for example, unlike the Big Three, Fox does not often provide coverage of major political convention speeches, which usually occur during the 10:00 p.m. (Eastern Time) hour during which most of its affiliates air local newscasts; however the majority of Fox's owned-and-operated stations and affiliate groups do carry weekday breaking news briefs). The political discussion show Fox News Sunday also airs on the Fox network on Sunday mornings and is rebroadcast later in the day on FNC. Fox also operates an affiliate news service called Fox NewsEdge, which launched with Fox News Channel in 1996, and provides national and international news reports, and feature stories for Fox stations to use in their own local newscasts.

Fox first tried its hand at a national news program in primetime with the hour-long weekly newsmagazine The Reporters, which was produced by the same team behind the Fox Television Stations-distributed syndicated tabloid program A Current Affair; the program ran from 1988 until its cancellation in 1990 due to low ratings. From 1987 until about 1990, Fox also aired news capsules that aired within its primetime schedule branded as Fox News Extra, which were produced at New York City O&O WNYW (Cora-Ann Mihalik, who anchored the newsbriefs, had at the time also co-anchored WNYW's weeknight 7:00 and 10:00 p.m. newscasts). Another failed attempt occurred in 1993, when Fox launched Front Page (which included among its five hosts, Ron Reagan and Josh Mankiewicz), in an attempt to capture a younger demographic for a newsmagazine program.

The network tried its hand at a newsmagazine again in 1998 with Fox Files, hosted by Fox News Channel anchors Catherine Crier and Jon Scott, as well as a team of correspondents; it lasted a little over a year before being cancelled. Its most recent attempt at a newsmagazine series occurred during the 2002–03 sweeps period, with The Pulse, hosted by Fox News Channel anchor Shepard Smith.

Fox also attempted national morning programs, only the first of which aired on the network itself. Its first venture at such a program was Fox After Breakfast, an hour-long morning news and lifestyle show that ran on Fox from 1996 to 1998 (Fox aired the program at 9:00 a.m. – as opposed to the 7:00 to 9:00 a.m. timeslot that NBC, CBS and ABC air their national morning shows – in order to accommodate local morning newscasts that ran in the latter slot on some of its stations); the program originated as Breakfast Time on sister cable channel FX in 1995. Fox tried again in 2001 with Good Day Live, a heavily entertainment-focused syndicated offshoot of Good Day L.A., a news/entertainment/lifestyle-hybrid program that debuted in 1993 on Los Angeles owned-and-operated station KTTV; the national version of the program was cancelled in 2005. On January 22, 2007, Fox premiered The Morning Show with Mike and Juliet on its owned-and-operated stations; hosted by Mike Jerrick and Juliet Huddy (then-anchors of Fox News Channel's DaySide), the show was lighter in format and more entertainment-oriented, though its focus often changed when a major news story occurred. In February 2007, the program was syndicated to other stations including many affiliated with ABC, NBC and CBS in markets where it was not carried by a Fox or MyNetworkTV affiliate; The Morning Show was cancelled in June 2009.[36][37]

Sports[edit]

When the network launched, Fox management, having seen the critical role that sports programming (soccer events in particular) had played in the growth of the British satellite service BSkyB, believed that sports, and specifically professional football, would be the engine that would make Fox a major network the quickest. In 1987, after ABC initially hedged on renewing its contract to broadcast Monday Night Football, Fox made an offer to the NFL for the same amount that ABC had been paying, about $13 million per game at the time. However, the NFL, in part because Fox had not yet established itself as a major network, renewed its contract with ABC.

Six years later, when the league's television contract was up for renewal, Fox made a $1.58 billion bid to obtain broadcast rights to the National Football Conference division – covering four seasons of games, beginning with the 1994 NFL season.[16] The NFL selected the Fox bid on December 18, 1993, stripping CBS of football telecasts for the first time since 1955. The event placed Fox on a par with the "Big Three" broadcast networks and ushered in an era of growth for the NFL. Fox's acquisition of the NFL rights also quickly led toward the network reaching an affiliation deal with New World Communications to change the affiliations of twelve of its stations to Fox (see above). The rights gave Fox many new viewers and a platform for advertising its other programs.

With a sports division now established with the arrival of the NFL, Fox acquired broadcast television rights to the National Hockey League (1994–99), Major League Baseball (since 1996) and NASCAR auto racing (since 2001). From 2007 to 2010, Fox aired college football games that were part of the Bowl Championship Series, except for the Rose Bowl, whose rights remained with ABC. The package also included the BCS Championship Game, with the exception of the 2010 event when the game was played at the Rose Bowl.

In August 2011, Fox and mixed martial arts promotion Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) reached a multi-year agreement, which included the rights to broadcast four live events in prime time or late night annually, marking the first time that the UFC aired its events on broadcast television. Its first UFC on Fox event, Velasquez vs. Dos Santos, aired on November 12, 2011.[38]

Video-on-demand services[edit]

Fox maintains several video on demand venues for viewers to watch the network's programming, including a traditional VOD service called Fox on Demand, which is carried on most traditional cable and telco providers. Fox parent 21st Century Fox is also a part-owner of the streaming video service Hulu, and offers most of the network's programming through Hulu's website and mobile app, along with traditional streaming via the network's Full Episode portal on Fox.com.

The most recent episodes of the network's shows are usually made available on the Fox on Demand television service the day after their original broadcast. In addition, fast forwarding capabilities are disabled while viewing content (a commonality for video-on-demand television services provided by the U.S. broadcast networks) and the program's original advertisements are included as they aired during the initial broadcast for a week after becoming available on the service, with the original ads being replaced by direct response advertising thereafter. Due to restrictions put in place by the network to encourage live or same-week DVR viewing via traditional and cable on demand means, Hulu and Fox.com both impose an eight-day delay for most viewers to access the most recent episode of any Fox program, restricting day-after-air streaming of its shows on both services to subscribers of certain pay television providers (such as Dish Network and Verizon FiOS) using an ISP account through agreements made with Fox;[39] however, Hulu offers newer episodes of Fox programs the day after their original broadcast to subscribers of its Hulu Plus service requiring only a user-determined login.

Fox HD[edit]

Fox HD logo used from 2004 to 2013; the current version features the "HD" characters against the "X".

Fox began broadcasting its programming in 720p high definition on September 12, 2004, with that day's slate of NFC football games during week one of the 2004 NFL season. The network does not display a on-screen logo graphic on the bottom-right corner of the screen, outside of a ten-second sweep of a "Fox HD" promotional logo (which before the end of 2010, also featured a sponsor tag for DirecTV); instead a trigger in Fox's program delivery system at each station displays the logo bug of an owned-and-operated or affiliate station in the right-hand corner of the 16:9 screen frame, which disappears during commercial breaks (the station logo bug will still be triggered even if Fox programming is pre-empted locally). However, network or affiliate bugs are not displayed during Fox Sports programming. During some high-profile or live programs such as American Idol and So You Think You Can Dance however, Fox forgoes the affiliate's logo and displays its network logo instead, mainly for promotional consideration due to fair use of clips from each series by other media outlets (such as news programming and clip programs like those seen on E!); until 2014, the bug was placed in the 4:3 safe area. The Sunday political talk program Fox News Sunday displays the "Fox HD" logo at all times for both that reason and many stations pre-taping the program for airing later in the morning.

On some Fox programs, a hashtag rests above the affiliate's logo (for example, #newgirl or #bones) to provide viewers reference to the network's official Twitter search tag to find or start discussions during the program being broadcast. In April 2012, additional tags relating to plot points in a given episode (for instance, the #saturdaynightGLEEver tag for an April 2012 episode of Glee of that same title) began to also be promoted in this space to both add additional trending topics and spread out more conversations on Twitter.[40] In cases where the Fox bug appears instead of the station's logo bug, the Twitter hashtag is directly above the Fox logo in the safe area.

During the analog-to-digital transitional period, Fox was the only commercial television network in the U.S. to air programs in widescreen that are not available in HD (which were identified as being presented in "Fox High Resolution Widescreen" from 2001 to 2006). Prior to the launch of its HD feed, some sitcoms and drama series were presented in widescreen standard-definition, with reality, talk and game shows (American Idol being the first major exception, as it began to be presented in high definition in 2008) later being presented only in widescreen enhanced definition. The children's sports program This Week in Baseball began airing in widescreen in 2009, while Fox News Sunday converted to HD when Fox News Channel began operating from its new HD facilities in November 2008 (before the network's widescreen presentation effort went into effect in September 2010, it was the final Fox News program to structure its graphics and camera positions for the 4:3 safe area, as Fox News Channel itself converted to a full-time widescreen presentation on both its HD and standard definition channels in 2009). MADtv was produced to air only in 4:3 until September 2008, likely due to a mix of stations tape delaying the show and therefore being unable to offer it on the live air in 16:9, and the show's producers not making the switch to the format. The final Fox show to convert to HD was Family Guy beginning with its September 26, 2010 episode; all programming provided by Fox, except for the Weekend Marketplace block, is now broadcast in widescreen and in high definition as of 2013.

Fox is unique among U.S. broadcasters as it distributes its HD feed over satellite to the network's affiliates as an MPEG transport stream intended to be delivered bit-for-bit to broadcast transmission. During network time, local commercials are inserted using a transport stream splicer.[41] Affiliates of most other networks decode compressed satellite network video feeds and then re-encode them for final over-the-air transmission.

Since late July 2010, when Fox began broadcasting its sports programming with graphics optimized for 16:9 displays rather than the 4:3 safe area, the network has asked cable and satellite providers to comply and use the #10 AFD broadcast flag it now sends out over Fox programming, which has 16:9 content display in letterboxed mode on 4:3 screens and has graphical elements optimized for the 16:9 format.[42][43] Subsequently, a number of Fox O&Os and affiliates also now send out the AFD #10 flag over local news and syndicated programs that the stations broadcast in HD with graphical elements optimized for 16:9 to allow that programming to appear in widescreen format on 4:3 analog sets.

Affiliates[edit]

In 2003, Fox was estimated to be viewable in 96.18% of all U.S. households (a total reach of 102,565,710 homes with at least one television set).[44] Fox has 180 VHF and UHF owned-and-operated or affiliate stations in the United States and U.S. possessions. Fox largely discontinued analog broadcasts on June 12, 2009 as part of the transition to digital television. As a newer broadcast network, Fox still has a number of low-power affiliates that broadcast in analog, covering markets like Youngstown, Ohio (WYFX-LD) and Santa Barbara, California (KKFX-CA). In some markets, including both of the ones mentioned, these stations also maintain digital simulcasts on a subchannel of a co-owned/co-managed television station.

Currently outside of Fox's core O&O group, Tribune Broadcasting is Fox's largest affiliate group in terms of overall market reach, with fourteen stations (including some former Fox O&Os that were spun off in 2008 to Local TV, which Tribune later acquired in 2013, to finance former Fox parent News Corporation's purchase of The Wall Street Journal);[45] the Sinclair Broadcast Group is the largest operator of Fox stations by numerical total, owning or providing services to 26 Fox-affiliated stations.

Branding[edit]

Station standardization[edit]

During the early 1990s, Fox began having its stations use a branding structure using a combination of the "Fox" name and the station's channel number, often followed by the licensed call letters (for instance, WNYW in New York City, WTTG in Washington, D.C. and WAGA-TV in Atlanta, Georgia, are all branded as "Fox 5"). By the mid-to-late 1990s, the call letters were minimized to be just barely readable to FCC requirements. This marked the start of the trend for other networks to apply such naming schemes, especially at CBS, which uses the "CBS Mandate" on most of its owned-and-operated stations.

The branding scheme has varied in some markets, with other stations using a city or regional name within the branding instead of the channel number (for example, Chicago owned-and-operated station WFLD branded as "Fox Chicago" from 1997 to 2012); a few of the network's stations also minimized use of the "Fox" name, opting to use their call letters or a more genericized branding (such as KTVU in Oakland-San Francisco, which has branded as "KTVU Fox 2" for general purposes since 1996, but brands its newscasts as "KTVU Channel 2 News" (although the "Fox 2" brand will likely be expanded to full-time usage as a result of Fox's October 2014 purchase of the station); WSVN in Miami, which has branded as "WSVN 7" for general use and "(Channel) 7 News" for its newscasts since it joined the network in January 1989; KHON-TV in Honolulu, which changed its general branding from "Fox 2" to "KHON 2" in 2003; and WDRB in Louisville, Kentucky, which dropped its "Fox 41" brand in favor of branding by its call letters in September 2011). Similarly, most of the stations that switched to Fox as a result of its 1994 affiliation deal with New World Communications retained their Big Three-era general and/or news branding (with a few exceptions such as WJW in Cleveland, which dropped its CBS-era "TV8" and "Newscenter 8" brands in 1995, in favor of "Fox is Eight" as a general brand and Eight is News as the title for its newscasts), before conforming to Fox's station branding conventions when Fox Television Stations acquired New World in 1997.

Starting in 2006, more standardization of the O&Os began to take place both on-air and online. All of the network's O&Os began adopting an on-air look more closely aligned with the Fox News Channel. This included the adoption of a standardized red, white and blue boxkite-style logo, which features rotating red pillars. After News Corporation's acquisition of the social networking site Myspace (which it sold in June 2011 to a consortium that included singer Justin Timberlake among its backers), some Fox O&Os launched websites with identical layouts and similar URL addresses under the "MyFox" scheme (such as MyFoxDC.com for WTTG).

Logos[edit]

The first official logo introduced by Fox when the network inaugurated its programming in October 1986 was a three-square design containing the letters "FBC," for "Fox Broadcasting Company"; the logo was only used during the network's first six months in existence and was primarily featured at the beginning of The Late Show with Joan Rivers. On April 5, 1987, when the network inaugurated its primetime programming, a more familiar logo based on 20th Century Fox's signature logo design was introduced, featuring just the capitalized "FOX" name alongside the familiar trademark searchlights and double-pane platform (Fox's owned-and-operated stations used a variant for station identifications from 1987 to 1989, which incorporated negative space "FOX" lettering immersed within the searchlights; until as late as the mid-1990s, some Fox affiliates that did not license the regulation network logo used those that imitated the 20th Century Fox-inspired design in their station logos).

In 1993, the familiar logo was given a more "hip" makeover, with the "FOX" wordmark revised and the angle changed, removing the tilting. Starting with the introduction of this logo, the network began displaying an on-screen bug within its programs on the lower right-hand corner of the screen (initially for one minute at the start of each program segment or act, eventually being displayed throughout the program outside of commercial breaks, before reverting to the former display format regularly upon the 2009 digital transition). The "O" character also underwent a makeover, acquiring its trademark pillar-like bowl, which has since become a major focal point for the logo and Fox advertising in lieu of the searchlight motif.

Another revised logo was introduced for the 1995-96 television season, removing the searchlights, but retaining the two lower panes and adding a third pane atop the logotype. A variant of the original 1993 design was implemented in 1996, excluding the panes underneath the network name, but retaining the searchlights on either side of the Fox wordmark.

The current version of the logo was introduced in 1999, removing the searchlights completely and switching the logo exclusively to a wordmark design. Despite this, the searchlight theme remains an integral part of 21st Century Fox's branding efforts; they are still incorporated into Fox News Channel's logo, and the universal station logo introduced in 2006 by Fox's owned-and-operated stations – which were retained by the seven former O&Os that Fox Television Stations sold in 2008 to Local TV and had spread to several Fox stations owned by Tribune Broadcasting (including those it acquired through the company's 2013 merger with Local TV; the logo introduced by the O&Os was modified for Tribune's Fox affiliates in 2012 to feature only one searchlight as part of the company's graphical standardizations for those stations) and certain other Fox affiliates not owned or operated by either company. The 1996–99 searchlight logo is still used within the logos of a few Fox affiliates; the searchlights continued to be featured in the logo of sister channel FX until a rebranding effort in 2008.

Differences between Fox and the "Big Three" networks[edit]

Network programming[edit]

Fox's programming schedule differs from the "Big Three" networks in several significant ways: the network airs its primetime programming for only two hours on Monday through Saturday evenings and three hours on Sundays, compared to the three hours on Monday through Saturdays (from 8:00 to 11:00 p.m.) and four hours on Sunday nights (from 7:00 to 11:00 p.m. Eastern and Pacific Time) programmed by the three larger networks, ABC, CBS and NBC. Fox has traditionally avoided programming the 10:00 p.m. hour, leaving that hour to affiliates to program locally, many of which air local newscasts during that timeslot; however, some exceptions do exist for select special film presentations, which by virtue of their running time (depending on whether the film's original length, combined with commercial breaks that would be included in the television cut, would exceed a traditional two-hour broadcast timeslot) must spill over into the 10:00 p.m. hour, and overruns from live sports telecasts scheduled to air during primetime. However, the network did regularly schedule programming in the 10:00 p.m. hour on Sunday nights from September 1989 to September 1993 (when that specific time period was turned back over to its affiliates), although it never added programming at that hour on any other night. Fox's original reason for the reduced number of primetime hours was to avoid fulfilling FCC requirements in effect at the time to be considered a network,[46] and to be free of resulting regulations, although these rules have since been relaxed.

Despite being a major network, in addition to not carrying national morning and evening newscasts, Fox also does not air any network daytime programming (such as soap operas, game shows or talk shows). Because of this, the network's owned-and-operated stations and affiliates handle the responsibility of programming daytime hours with syndicated and/or locally produced programming (corporate sister 20th Television distributes several syndicated daytime programs carried by many Fox stations, such as Divorce Court and The Wendy Williams Show; Fox Television Stations also test markets certain series from 20th Television and other syndicators such as Warner Bros. Television Distribution that are proposed for national distribution on some of its stations). The network also does not carry network-supplied children's programming on Saturday mornings or late-night programming on Monday through Friday nights. Local affiliates either produce their own programming or run syndicated programs during these time periods. Because of the erratic scheduling of the network's sports programming, many Fox stations choose to run a mix of syndicated programming, infomercials and especially movies to fill weekend afternoon timeslots when a sports event is not scheduled to air.

News programming[edit]

Within Fox's station body, the quantity of locally produced news programming varies considerably compared to the owned-and-operated and affiliated stations of ABC, NBC and CBS (which typically carry at least 3½ hours of local newscasts on weekdays and one hour on weekends, which are usually spread across morning, midday, early and/or late evening timeslots). At minimum, most Fox stations run a half-hour or hour-long newscast following the network's primetime lineup (at 10:00 p.m. in the Eastern and Pacific, and 9:00 p.m. in the Central and Mountain Time Zones); besides the fact that the network's stations have more latitude to air an earlier late-evening newscast since Fox does not program that hour, this stems from the fact that several of its charter stations were already airing primetime newscasts as independent stations prior to the network's launch (such as New York City O&O WNYW, which debuted its 10:00 p.m. newscast in March 1967). Most Fox stations also carry a weekday morning newscast of one to three hours in length at 7:00 a.m., as a local alternative to the national morning news programs provided by the "Big Three" networks (though mainly in the case of Fox stations that have a news operation, this is often part of a morning news block that runs for four to six hours on average).

Fox has fewer stations that have an independent news operation than those of ABC, NBC and CBS; as of December 2014, 69 of Fox's approximately 200 stations (including all 18 owned-and-operated stations) maintain in-house news departments (compared to roughly ⅝-⅞ of the stations of each of the three other major broadcast networks, whose newscasts are either produced in-house or in conjunction with another station). WJW in Cleveland (which was owned by the network from 1997 to 2008) and WXIN in Indianapolis have the highest weekly total of news programming hours among Fox's stations, at 65½ hours.

Most Fox stations that run a news operation utilize a newscast-intensive scheduling format that is very similar to an ABC-, NBC- or CBS-affiliated station – which in many cases, may incorporate midday and/or early-evening newscasts, the latter of which is often extended by a half-hour to compete with the national evening newscasts provided by the "Big Three" networks; some Fox stations – except for those owned by Fox Television Stations (excluding WFLD in Chicago, the largest Fox station without an early-evening newscast) and most owned by Tribune Broadcasting – air their early-evening newscasts only on Monday through Friday nights, due to frequent sports event overruns into that daypart on weekends. The first Fox station to adopt such a scheduling format was WSVN in Miami; upon affiliating with the network in January 1989, WSVN retained its existing morning, midday and early evening newscasts, while moving its late newscast from 11:00 to 10:00 p.m. and expanding it to one hour (the station later relaunched an 11:00 p.m. newscast in 1995), and expanding its weekday morning newscast by two hours. This type of format was later adopted by the former major network stations that switched to Fox between 1994 and 1996, especially those affected by New World and Burnham Broadcasting affiliation deals. Many Fox stations with upstart news departments often do not run a full slate of newscasts initially, usually carrying only a primetime newscast at first, before gradually adding other newscasts over time.

In several markets (largely those ranked outside of the 50 largest Nielsen-designated television markets), production of the local Fox affiliate's newscasts is outsourced to an NBC, ABC or CBS station – either due to insufficient funds or studio space for a news department or in most cases, as a byproduct of the station being operated through a legal duopoly or a management agreement with a major network affiliate (such as with Esteem Broadcasting-owned WEMT in Greeneville, Tennessee, which has its newscasts produced by NBC affiliate WCYB-TV through a local marketing agreement with Bonten Media Group). Fox affiliates that outsource their news production to a major-network affiliate often carry a lesser amount of news programming than is possible with an affiliate with a standalone news department due to the contracting station's preference to avoid having the Fox station's newscasts compete against their own in common timeslots (differing from outsourcing agreements between two same-market ABC, CBS or NBC affiliates in certain areas, in which both stations may simulcast newscasts in the same timeslots).

WPGH-TV in Pittsburgh is the largest Fox station by Nielsen market ranking (at #23) that outsources its news programming; NBC affiliate WPXI (owned by Cox Media Group) has produced the station's 10:00 p.m. newscast since 2006, when WPGH shut down its news department following the closure of owner Sinclair Broadcast Group's News Central division. A few Fox affiliates only air syndicated programming in time periods where newscasts would air on other major network stations. The largest Fox station by market size that does not carry news programming is WEVV-DT2 in Evansville, Indiana (as its parent station does not have a news department); KRBK in Springfield, Missouri is the largest Fox station without full-scale newscasts (it only carries a ten-minute newscast on weeknights, bookended by Fox and MyNetworkTV respective primetime lineups).

Controversy[edit]

News[edit]

Although the Fox network itself does not carry any regularly scheduled national news programming other than Fox News Sunday, both that program and the network's breaking news coverage are produced by the Fox News Channel, and are regular subjects of controversy. The network has also received some criticism for at times deciding not to carry scheduled news events during primetime, such as presidential speeches, in order to air scheduled entertainment programming (such as a speech in September 2009 which would have jeopardized the heavily-promoted fall premiere of Glee had it aired).

Indecency[edit]

Controversy surrounded the network in 2002 and 2003 over obscenities, expressed respectively by Cher and Nicole Richie, aired live during Fox's broadcast of the Billboard Music Awards on its affiliates in the Eastern and Central Time Zones despite the use of five-second audio delays; the indecent material was edited out on broadcasts in the Mountain Time Zone and westward.[47] Both of the obscene instances were condemned by the Parents Television Council,[48][49] and named by them among the worst instances on television from 2001 to 2004.[50] PTC members filed tens of thousands of complaints to the Federal Communications Commission regarding the broadcasts. A subsequent apology made by Fox representatives was labeled a "sham" by PTC president L. Brent Bozell III, who argued that the network could have easily used an audio delay to edit out the obscene language.[51] As the FCC was investigating the broadcasts, in 2004, Fox announced that it would begin extending live broadcast delays to five minutes from its standard five or ten seconds to more easily be able to edit out obscenities uttered over the air.[52] In June 2007, in the case Federal Communications Commission v. Fox Television Stations, the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the FCC could not issue indecency fines against Fox because it does not have the authority to fine broadcasters for fleeting expletives,[53] such as in the case of the Billboard Awards. The FCC eventually decided to appeal the Second Circuit Court's finding.[54] The U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari and oral arguments in FCC v. Fox, et al., began November 4, 2008.[55]

The Parents Television Council has also criticized many popular Fox shows for perceived indecent content, such as American Dad!, Arrested Development, The Simpsons, Family Guy,[56] Hell's Kitchen,[57] Married... with Children,[58] Prison Break and That '70s Show.[59] The Council sometimes has gone even as far as to file complaints with the Federal Communications Commission regarding indecent content within Fox programming, having done so for That '70s Show[60] and Married by America, having successfully been able to get the FCC to fine the network nearly $1 million for its airing of the latter program.[61] That fine was reduced to $91,000 after it was discovered that the FCC originally claimed to have received 159 complaints; it later admitted to only receiving 90, which came from only 23 people. Blogger Jeff Jarvis studied the complaints and realized that all but two were virtually identical to each other, meaning that the $1.2 million judgment was based on original complaints written by a total of only three people. Armed with the new information, Fox promised to fight the fine. The fine was ultimately reduced to $91,000 in January 2009.[62]

Also, as of 2004 Fox programming has been chosen by the PTC for its weekly "Worst TV Show of the Week" feature more often than programming from any other broadcast network.[63]

International broadcasts[edit]

Canada[edit]

Like ABC, CBS and NBC, Fox programming is carried on cable, satellite and IPTV providers in Canada through affiliates and owned-and-operated stations of the network that are located within proximity to the Canada–United States border (such as KCPQ/Seattle, Washington; KAYU-TV/Spokane, Washington; KMSP-TV/Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota; WFFF-TV/Burlington, Vermont; WFXT/Boston, WJBK/Detroit and WUTV/Buffalo, New York), some of which may also be receivable over-the-air in parts of Canada depending on an individual station's signal coverage. Most programming is generally the same, aside from simultaneous substitutions imposed by the provider that results in the American station's signal being replaced with programming from a Canadian network (such as CTV, the Global Television Network or City) if both happen to air a particular program in the same time period – which is often done to protect the Canadian station's advertising revenue.

Caribbean[edit]

In the Caribbean, many cable and satellite providers offer Fox programming through New York City owned-and-operated station WNYW or Miami affiliate WSVN. A few locally owned Fox affiliates exist in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Fox programming is available on cable in the Bahamas and Bermuda, via owned-and-operated and affiliated stations in the United States.

Asia Pacific[edit]

Guam[edit]

Fox programming is available in Guam through low-power affiliate KEQI-LP. Programming is shown day and date on a one-day tape delay due to Guam being located on the west side of the International Date Line (for example, the Sunday night lineup is carried on Monday nights and is promoted as such), with live programming and breaking news coverage airing as scheduled; as a result, live sports coverage (such as NFL games and NASCAR races) often air in the territory during the early morning hours.

American Samoa[edit]

In American Samoa, Fox programming is available via Honolulu, Hawaii affiliate KHON-TV, which is carried on domestic cable providers.

Federated States of Micronesia[edit]

Fox is available on cable television in the Federated States of Micronesia, also via KHON-TV.

Europe[edit]

Bulgaria[edit]

On October 15, 2011, a domestic version of the network launched in Bulgaria. Fox Bulgaria is part of a collection of television networks distributed by Fox International Channels (which include entertainment channels Fox Life and Fox Crime, documentary channels National Geographic Channel and Nat Geo Wild, cooking channel 24KITCHEN, news channel Sky News and children's channel BabyTV).

Finland[edit]

Fox International Channels Nordic started terrestrial broadcasts in Finland on April 16, 2012.[64]

Latvia[edit]

A domestic version of Fox debuted in Latvia on October 1, 2012.

Lithuania[edit]

A domestic version of Fox debuted in Lithuania on October 1, 2012.

Russia[edit]

A Russian version of the network, FOX Russia, debuted on October 1, 2012, replacing FOX Crime Russia. Fox International Channels also operates a regional version of its female-targeted Fox Life network. Fox Russia also distributes its signals and other Russian channels, Baby TV, NatGeo Wild and National Geographic Channel.

Serbia[edit]

On October 15, 2012, FOX Serbia debuted in Serbia. The channel is distributed by Fox International Channels, which also owns Fox Life, Fox Crime and Fox Movies, National Geographic Channel and Nat Geo Wild, 24KITCHEN, Sky News and BabyTV.

Croatia[edit]

Fox launched in Croatia on October 15, 2012. Also operated by Fox International Channels Bulgaria, all of Fox's channels (Fox, Fox Life, Fox Crime, Fox Movies, 24Kitchen, NatGeo (both SD and HD), NatGeo Wild (also HD and SD) and BabyTV) have identical programming as those in Serbia. Most of them, with the exception of Nat Geo HD and BabyTV, feature subtitled promos and content. All channels except for BabyTV are broadcast in 16:9 widescreen, while Fox will soon be offered in HD.

Turkey[edit]

Main article: Fox (Turkey)

Fox Turkey launched in Turkey on February 24, 2007.

UK and Ireland[edit]

Main article: Fox (UK and Ireland)

On January 11, 2013, the United Kingdom and Ireland version of FX was rebranded as Fox.

Greece[edit]

Main article: Fox (Greece)

On October 1, 2012, a regional version of FX serving Greece and Cyprus was rebranded as Fox. The channel is operated alongside five others that are owned by Fox International Channels Greece (Fox Life, Nat Geo (SD and HD), Nat Geo Wild (SD and HD), Nat Geo Adventure and Baby TV). Adam Theiler, the Senior Vice President of Fox International Channels Southeast Europe, announced in 2013 that the company would launch a new channel dedicated to cooking with domestically produced programs, produce documentaries catering to the Greek audience and launch HD feeds for Fox and FOXlife, because of the success of Fox International Channels in Greece.

Netherlands[edit]

A domestic version of Fox launched in the Netherlands on August 19, 2013. The channel's schedule features a mix of American series (such as The Walking Dead and The Simpsons), as well as sports programs. Fox is available digitally on Ziggo and UPC Cablecom channel 11, KPN channel 14, and on CanalDigitaal on either channel 52 or 58.[65][66]

Sweden[edit]

A domestic version of Fox debuted in Sweden on September 22, 2014.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Management". 21st Century Fox. Retrieved July 3, 2013. 
  2. ^ Corporate name as per: Twenty-First Century Fox Inc. (2013-08-23). "Form 10-K Exhibit 21 (List of Subsidiaries)". EDGAR. U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Retrieved 2014-06-25.  (full filing)
  3. ^ Win (and Loss) for ‘Idol’, The New York Times. Retrieved January 14, 2010.
  4. ^ Jackson excited by Fox show’s changes, Hub talent, Boston Herald. Retrieved January 14, 2010.
  5. ^ a b de Moraes, Lisa. "David Cook Wasn't the Only Winner on Wednesday, as 'Idol' Ratings Spike". The Washington Post. Retrieved May 2, 2010. 
  6. ^ "FOX Sets New Broadcast Industry Record With Eighth Consecutive Season Victory Among Adults 18-49". The Futon Critic. Retrieved February 10, 2013. 
  7. ^ a b "Fox Buys Into TV Network; Makes 390 Features Available". Boxoffice. November 3, 1956. p. 8. [dead link]
  8. ^ "Fourth TV Network, for Films, is Created". Boxoffice. July 7, 1956. p. 8. [dead link]
  9. ^ "Another spin for TV's revolving door." Broadcasting, May 6, 1985, pp. 39-40. [1][2]
  10. ^ "Life among the high rollers." Broadcasting, May 13, 1985, pp. 36-39. [3][4][5][6]
  11. ^ "Hearst's rise in the ownership ranks." Broadcasting, May 13, 1985, pg. 38. [7]
  12. ^ "For the record." Broadcasting, March 17, 1986, pg. 118
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  14. ^ Heldenfels, R. D. (1994) Television's Greatest Year: 1954. New York: Continuum, pg 79–80. ISBN 0-8264-0675-0
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  16. ^ a b CBS, NBC Battle for AFC Rights // Fox Steals NFC Package, Chicago Sun-Times (via HighBeam Research), December 18, 1993.
  17. ^ a b Carter, Bill (May 24, 1994). "FOX WILL SIGN UP 12 NEW STATIONS; TAKES 8 FROM CBS". The New York Times. Retrieved October 22, 2012. 
  18. ^ Foisie, Geoffrey. "Fox and the New World order." Broadcasting and Cable, May 30, 1994, pp. 6, 8. Retrieved February 13, 2013.[8][9]
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  30. ^ "Fox Plans Animation Domination HD for Primetime in 2015, Nixes Late Night". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved June 30, 2014. 
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  32. ^ Schneider, Michael (November 7, 2001). "Fox outgrows kids programs". Variety. Retrieved 2009-08-13. 
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  36. ^ Official Website : Where To Watch?
  37. ^ "BroadcastingCable.com". BroadcastingCable.com. Retrieved June 17, 2010. 
  38. ^ "It’s Official: UFC and Fox Are Now in Business Together". MMAWeekly.com. August 18, 2011. Retrieved 2011-08-18. 
  39. ^ "Fox Expands On Demand Deals: Agreements with Verizon and Mediacom will give their subscribers next day VOD and online access to Fox's primetime programming", Broadcasting & Cable, October 25, 2011.
  40. ^ Ausiello, Michael (April 16, 2012). "Fox Launches Spoilerific Twitter Campaign For Glee, Bones, Fringe and More". TVLine. Retrieved April 23, 2012. 
  41. ^ "Fox stations to splice HD feed at local level". Broadcastengineering.com. Retrieved June 17, 2010. 
  42. ^ Fox Sports taking a wider view of football, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.
  43. ^ MilwaukeeHDTV.org Forums >> View Single Post >> MLB on FOX6
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  47. ^ Parloff, Roger. Bleep Deprivation. Fortune: March 19, 2007.
  48. ^ "Fox Awards Show Crosses Decency Line" (Press release). Parents Television Council. December 11, 2003. Archived from the original on August 7, 2007. Retrieved December 8, 2007. 
  49. ^ Bozell, L. Brent III (December 19, 2003). "Fast-Flying F-Words". Parents Television Council. Archived from the original on May 25, 2006. Retrieved December 8, 2007. 
  50. ^ TV's Worst Clips, 2001–2004. Parents Television Council
  51. ^ "PTC Calls Fox Apology a Sham" (Press release). Parents Television Council. December 12, 2003. Archived from the original on August 7, 2007. Retrieved December 8, 2007. 
  52. ^ Fox mulls 5-minute delay to squash dirty words. Media Life Magazine: January 27, 2004.
  53. ^ "Law.com". Law.com. Retrieved June 17, 2010. 
  54. ^ Labaton, Stephen. Court Rebuffs F.C.C. on Fines for Indecency (page 2 of 2). The New York Times: June 5, 2007
  55. ^ "8958.exe" (PDF). Retrieved June 17, 2010. 
  56. ^ "Family Guy – Parents Television Council Family TV Guide Show Page". Parentstv.org. Retrieved June 17, 2010. 
  57. ^ ParentsTV.org
  58. ^ "PTC list of Best and Worst shows of the 1996–97 TV season". Parentstv.org. Retrieved June 17, 2010. 
  59. ^ Bowling, Aubree (June 8, 2003). "Worst Family Show of the Week – "That '70s Show"". Parents Television Council. Archived from the original on September 30, 2007. Retrieved August 4, 2007. 
  60. ^ "Content from the March 24, 2004 episode of "That '70s Show"". Parentstv.org. March 24, 2004. Retrieved June 17, 2010. 
  61. ^ "FCC Fine of FOX's "Married by America" a Victory for America's Families" (Press release). Parents Television Council. October 12, 2004. Archived from the original on September 30, 2007. Retrieved August 4, 2007. 
  62. ^ [10][dead link]
  63. ^ Fox "Worst of the Week" articles by Parents Television Council during the middle of 2004:
  64. ^ FOX kotisivu | FOX. Foxtv.fi. Retrieved on December 12, 2013.
  65. ^ FOX in augustus in Nederland op de buis - Tech & Media - VK. Volkskrant.nl (July 26, 2013). Retrieved on August 16, 2013.
  66. ^ FOX NL: De nieuwe digitale TV-zender | FOX NL: De nieuwe digitale zender. Foxtv.nl. Retrieved on December 12, 2013.

References[edit]

External links[edit]